Help! I think I f'd up the nut change

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by TLespaul, Aug 16, 2018.

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  1. TLespaul

    TLespaul Senior Member

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    The Graph Tech nut I ordered for my 2010 Gibson LP Studio arrived, and I tried changing it myself by following instruction videos.

    I asked my father for some help, but even though I explained to him you need to be as gentle and as exact as you can with the guitar, he felt too sure of himself by comparing it to general wood work and I think he hammered the original nut too forcefully.

    The original nut came out but not as easily as their official instruction video shows. Apparently it was quite glued and some of the wood from under it chipped with the nut. What happened is that the chips that didn't come out with the nut are now higher than the rest of the nut slot.

    Also, perhaps I didn't see it beforehand but the nut slot looks too un-flat when I look at it from the side (it's probably from the chip that did peel off versus the one that didn't), and there is a tiny crack at the headstock just behind the nut where the leftover chips are.

    I tried to see if the new Graph Tech at least sits OK before doing any further work (after I had to sand the Graph Tech quite a bit, as it was several millimeters taller than the original unit, and also had some small chip attached to its "inside side" making it too wide), so I placed it without gluing and tightened the strings. It didn't seem to sit too well and kind of tipped due to the nut slot not being flat, and then I noticed the small cracks. So I'm not sure whether testing the nut like this pushed on the headstock damaged the wood.

    Here are the photos
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Help! What to do?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  2. PierM

    PierM Black & Gold Premium Member

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    Stop messing and bring it to a pro. :facepalm:
     
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  3. TLespaul

    TLespaul Senior Member

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    Almost everyone told me it's a very easy job, so I'm asking whether it was just glued too strongly and I need to file it some until the slot is flat enough?

    The crack does seem to continue a line from the part that chip out, so perhaps it did happen now, but I can blame my father for getting angry at me when I told him "GENTLE, DAMMIT" instead of just leaving it :squint:
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  4. PierM

    PierM Black & Gold Premium Member

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    It is not an easy job on a Gibson for many reasons (very tight pocket, lacquer on the nut, glue, extremely delicate face veener prone to crack, extremely delicate finish also prone to crack.., but as a general rule, you shouldnt do stuff you never did, especially on a Gibson.

    You can still fix it, but yeah, give it to a pro. :)
     
  5. Roxy13

    Roxy13 Senior Member

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    Ok, first of all stop with prepping the new nut and prep that slot first. Anytime you remove a nut you ought to file that to remove glue residue or whatever to get it nice and flat again. I wouldn't even think of sanding that new nut first not knowing what the exact depth of my nut slot will be until it's all nice and clean.

    So get that nut slot cleaned up first.
     
  6. PierM

    PierM Black & Gold Premium Member

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    Nope. There is wood damage to fix there and the pocket it is not even/flat anymore. Stop suggesting people how to ruin their guitars.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. TLespaul

    TLespaul Senior Member

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    OK, I'm trying though because of the lame chipping it calls for more flattening than I would've liked. I think it's almost OK now but you, the nut can very slightly move within the slot. The question is whether it should be super-tight (as in you need to force the new nut in), or a little bit of play before adding glue for the new nut is OK?

    I did buy two in case I ruin the first one.
     
  8. TLespaul

    TLespaul Senior Member

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    What can be repaired with this? It chipped and cracked from the glue pulling over.

    The frets are also calling for replacing and this almost makes me think of replacing the entire neck. Is that ever worthwhile with a Gibson Studio? How much could that cost?
     
  9. PierM

    PierM Black & Gold Premium Member

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    Dont panic. First of all, the nut has to sit tight in the pocket. The glue its just an extra to make it solid and fill the area between wood and nut. The problem here is that the pocket needs to be even and flat so that you get a perfect match with the nut, that should be inserted from a side, with a plastic hammer. If the nut doesnt fit well, because its kind of loose, you need to cut a new nut, after fixing the pocket to make it perfect. Again, this is easy stuff for a good pro tech, but can be a mess with DYI.
     
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  10. endial

    endial Senior Member

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    Man, I'm real sorry for your situation, but you were warned- repeatedly -to have someone with experience do this. At least NOW you know why there is so much height added to a nut blank, and why I suggested you get two.

    Now will you PLEASE GO TO THE LUTHIER SIDE OF THE FORUM? http://www.mylespaul.com/forum/luthiers-corner.26/
     
  11. TLespaul

    TLespaul Senior Member

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    OK, is there ANYTHING to do with it now? This is the side with the crack and leftover chips. I started to get quite agitated with this and I don't even want to take it to some guitar tech an hour away (I don't know anyone worthwhile more close) just to get a worthless result.
    So if it's the headstock is f'ed I'll either search for a replacement neck or just throw the guitar away. IMG_20180816_222051.jpg
     
  12. PierM

    PierM Black & Gold Premium Member

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    Let me add that inserting/installing the new blank its just a small part of the task. You also need to do the slots, file them correctly and respect the radius of the neck for the slot depth. If you mess there you are again ready for another round...
     
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  13. TLespaul

    TLespaul Senior Member

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    Who said it is a blank? This is the PT-6010-00 which is pre-cut.
     
  14. PierM

    PierM Black & Gold Premium Member

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    A pro can fix that granted.
     
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  15. PierM

    PierM Black & Gold Premium Member

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    If you overdo a pocket like you did you are going out of standards, hence you need a blank.
     
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  16. TLespaul

    TLespaul Senior Member

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    I have the second nut I purchased which comes several mm taller than what's usually needed.
     
  17. endial

    endial Senior Member

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    I said it was a blank. Pay attention. Even a pre-cut nut is a "blank", in that it STILL NEEDS WORK to be correctly fitted/installed.
     
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  18. endial

    endial Senior Member

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    I wash my hands.
     
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  19. jkes01

    jkes01 Senior Member

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    It can definitely be fixed. Get this file to clean the existing slot to make it level an square again.

    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Tools_for_Nuts_and_Saddles/Nut_Seating_Files.html

    Be careful to just remove enough to make it fully seat.

    As for the finish cracks, I would use CA glue to reinforce them and black fingernail polish to fill it in. Wet sand smooth with 1,000 grit paper and polish with compound. You won’t even know what happened.

    Again, if you are not confident, bring it to a pro. You can definitely make things much more worse than they already are. You’ve already been warned.


    Before you throw it in the dumpster, PM me your address. :)
     
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  20. jkes01

    jkes01 Senior Member

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    For future reference, the correct (ONLY!) way to safely remove a Gibson nut, compliments of @Freddy G. :thumb:

     
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